ISLAMABAD-Islamabad High Court on Monday deferred hearing for two weeks in petitions challenging eligibility of 3 MNAs of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, namely Maleeka Ali Bokhari, Tashfeen Safdar and Kanwal Shauzab.

A single bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq heard 3 identical petitions filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Shaishta Pervaiz, Tahira Bukhari, Abdullah Khan and Chaudhary Mehmood Ali Hashim.

During the hearing, the counsel for Kanwal Shauzab and Maleeka Bukhari received the notice, saying that they had come to know through media about this matter. Later, the court adjourned hearing in the case for two weeks.

Previously, the IHC bench had issued notices to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and three PTI MNAs directing them to submit their reply in this regard.

The petitioners prayed to the court that the 3 MNAs did not meet the criteria to hold membership of the Parliament under Article 62, 63 of the Constitution as they hide information in their nomination papers.

They had claimed in their pleas that MNA Maleeka Bokhari was not eligible to participate in general election as she was holding dual nationality at time of submission of her nomination papers.

The petition stated that she submitted her nomination papers on June 10, 2018 and left the British nationality on June 11. The petitioner also alleged MNA Tashfeen Safdar for hiding the information related to her dual nationality in her nomination papers.

They claimed that the MNA had left dual nationality in 2013 and in an affidavit she said that she neither hold dual nationality, nor applied for it.

The other petition filed by Shaishta Pervaiz said that the third MNA Kanwal Shauzab had given wrong information in documents to shift her vote in Rawalpindi from Islamabad. Shaishta’s petition said that Ms Shauzab lives in Islamabad, but when she contested the Senate elections she provided the ECP with incorrect information regarding her permanent residents. She argued that because of this she was not eligible to retain her National Assembly seat under articles 62 and 63.

The petition requested the court to direct the ECP to remove her for not being honest and righteous.

Similarly, the same IHC bench also heard the petition seeking disqualification of the same 3 women MNAs of PTI including Maleeka Bukhari, Tashfeen Safdar and Kanwal Shahzeb directing them to submit their reply in this matter.

In this regard, two MNAs Maleeka Bukhari and Tashfeen Safdar submitted their replies. Then, the court also put of hearing in this matter for two weeks.

The petition was moved by Abdullah Khan and Chaudhary Mehmood Ali Hashim. They filed the petition through their counsel Advocate Ahmad Raza Kasuri and cited ECP and the three MNAs elected on National Assembly seats reserved for women as respondents.

The petitioners stated in the petition that a report of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) submitted to the ECP identified Maleeka as a holder of United Kingdom (UK) passport and furthermore, she vide her affidavit in support of the nomination papers confirmed that she had renounced the nationality of UK and surrendered British passport through a declaration signed and stamped by the representative of UK Home Office dated June 11, 2018.

They added that Bukhari submitted her nomination papers on 10-6-18 and remained a dual national 11-6-2018 which indicates the fact that the respondent was still a dual national at 11-6-2018 which was the deadline notified by the ECP for submission of nomination papers.

Similarly, petitioners said that Tashfeen Safdar had held a foreign passport which she surrendered on 25-3-2013. He added she ought to have disclosed her renunciation in the affidavit of her nomination papers dated 8-6-2018 while failure to do so tantamount to malafide, perjury and fabricating false evidence.

The petitioners continued that respondent No 4 Shezzeb Kanwal in her affidavit dated 13-6-2018 stated on oath that ‘[she] was registered as a voter at serial 428 in the electoral roll of electoral area F-8/3 of teshil/taluka Islamabad.’

They contended that it is a fact that the respondent no 4 had contested the Senate Election on the general seat from the federal capital during March 2018 but in her nomination papers, Kanwal had stated that she consented to her candidature and details including were not limited to her name but it was inclusive with the name of her husband.

They said that the court that later, she got transferred her vote from Islamabad to Rawalpindi through a writ petition before the IHC.

Therefore, they prayed to the court that the respondent no 2, 3 and 4 may be directed to satisfy this court that under what authority of law they are holding this public office and in case the court is not satisfied regarding their legality to hold the said public offices in that eventuality the ECP may be directed to de-notify them under Article(s) 62 and 63 of the Constitution.